And then, clearly, I think we should have a bipartisan strategy for national security. Right now, that doesn't exist. There is a lot of substance, but there are also some politics going on.
So have you found a new era of bipartisanship with Obama's election?
No. It's still very much a partisan atmosphere. The president, on national security, has not reached out. He announced his new strategy for Gitmo this week. There was never any discussion with Congress on that. In fact, we were scheduled to have a briefing this week. It was canceled. At the same time, some are reporting that the president found more than enough time to meet with human rights groups to talk about the Gitmo strategy that he unveiled today. But he never shared it with Congress before the speech this morning.
The Pelosi scandal seems to have renewed the movement for a truth commission. What's your stance?
We ought to be able to do this [investigation] within our current established institutions. Congress ought to be able to deal with this.
So you don't support a separate commission?
Not at this point, no.
You've called Pelosi's claims that the CIA misled her "outrageous accusations." But in November of last year, after a report came out that said the CIA ran an air drug interception program that downed several private planes—including a n attack on a missionary plan e in Peru in 2001 that killed American Veronica B owers and her 7-month-old daughter — you said, "[The CIA] told us this was the first time that anything happened out of the ordinary, that all guidelines in the past had been meticulously followed, and that was a lie."
So you've said before yourself that the CIA has misled Congress.
Why , then, is Pelosi's claim that the CIA misled her "outrageous"?
Because when I made the claim, guess what: I had an IG report. I was quoting from—not quoting from literally—but from the inspector general's report from the CIA. Their own watchdog organization said they had lied and misled Congress. Look, the difference now with Speaker Pelosi is she has presented no evidence at all that there has been a pattern of deceit over a period of seven years. So I think that's the fundamental difference. The CIA IG had issued the report, and we followed up on it. We verified it; we wanted to hold the CIA accountable. She's accused them of lying, and she's done nothing. She hasn't even presented any facts, and she has done nothing to try to hold the CIA accountable for what she and I both believe would be a very, very serious charge, that they're lying. So that's the difference.
It sounds like you don't think that her belief that the CIA had misled Congress is outrageous. It's that she is doing it without presenting clear evidence.
Yeah. You would like to know exactly what has led her to make that charge, that over a period of years, step by step, they lied to her.
What about the notes of the briefing?
I would welcome their release as well as other documents from the CIA. That would help to clarify.